DURSLEY struck gold last week, with the highest possible accolade at the RHS Heart of England in Bloom awards.

Representatives from the town’s in-bloom committee received their third gold certificate at a ceremony at the National Brewery Centre in Burton on Trent on Thursday, September 20.

Judi Gardner, one of three committee members to attend the event, told the Gazette: “We’re all ecstatic about the result.”

Judi explained that guidance from the judges about how to improve had helped the town gain a top score.

“One of the areas we’d been advised to work on was the town’s street furniture, so we did just that,” she said.

“All the benches were repainted, and the bollards, litter bins and noticeboards too.

“I didn’t really notice it beforehand, but now it’s done, it has made a big difference, everything looks sharper and smarter.

“We always take the judges on a tour of the town, to show them what we’ve been doing.

“But our tour was a little different this year as we started at the wonderful allotments at the Vale Hospital, where plots are available through a ‘social prescription’ initiative and people can be put forward to get one by their GP. 

“We continued on to Rednock School for a tour of the various energy saving and eco friendly features incorporated into the fabric of the building and grounds. The judges were very interested to see this, as marks are given for eco-friendliness in the community.

“We then moved on to the centre of town to view the newly painted mural opposite the library, created by students from Rednock School, May Lane, which had been planted with wildflowers by the children’s reading group and finally the planters and hanging baskets in Parsonage Street.

“People think the In Bloom awards are just about flowers - I did before I became involved - but only 50 per cent of it is horticultural. 

“It’s also about getting the community involved, reaching out to people and encouraging communities to work together and create a happier place for us all to live in.”